Recently we were pleasantly surprised with the news that the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) was set to rebrand as Custom Automotive Network on February 28th. We raised an eyebrow at the branding change because the organization, which was founded in 1970, has been very successful in the past 47 years.
Originally comfortable working out of the public eye to shore up crucial business to business distribution lines for member companies, we got the word that the group was interested in stepping out of the industry only universe, and into public awareness, to include all levels of automotive professionals. We reached out to the Association’s President, Tracie Nunez to get the real info on the rebrand.
Nunez is an industry insider that has experience at every level of the automotive industry, from growing up at the local circle tracks and the famous Pomona Swap Meet, to heading up Advance Clutch Technology (ACT) as their CEO, and current President of the Performance Warehouse Association. She knows her way around an engine block, a parts counter, and a boardroom.
About The Organization
As of this morning (February 27, 2017), The PWA is now the Custom Automotive Network (CAN). They are a non-profit association that has focused on the challenges facing the aftermarket’s supply channel since the beginning. Wholesale distributors joined together 47 years ago to tackle the challenges they were facing. As technology has changed, the world has changed, and these challenges have grown. The organization is rebranding to represent what their role currently is, and what their role will be, for the future of the automotive industry.
It became clear to us that many of the end users that were not aware of the PWA would probably become familiar with the CAN as some of the tools the organization uses becomes available to the public that likes to upgrade their own vehicles. The CAN is a driving force behind the idea of customizing your vehicles to suit the individual tastes of each enthusiast.
When it came to digging into the rebranding, here is how the conversation progressed.
What is going to change under the new brand name Custom Automotive Network (CAN)?
Tracie Nunez: Our new brand name is just a fresh look and name to emphasize our commitment to growing members’ businesses and promoting networking opportunities beyond the traditional performance market. We respect each member’s unique business and promote an industry culture that recognizes the value of self-expression. For the end consumer, our new brand is a nod to their passion for customizing their ride with our members parts. Launching later in March, our other large 2017 initiative for members and retailers is a newly renovated online training portal, CAN Learning. This is designed to educate our members to better serve the customer.
For many years the garage car builder was unaware of the PWA. Why is it important for the end consumer or service professionals to know why CAN exists now?
TN: The Board of Directors many years ago recognized members needed help connecting to retailers and needed product training to serve the customer. There are two major programs CAN has to help connect resellers, retailers and the consumer. CAN Learning, as already mentioned, will help the quality of service and knowledge available to the consumer through our resellers and retailers.
Our second program, AutoParts-Connection.com is about helping a consumer find a retailer near them who is selling the brand they are looking for. Many member manufacturers use this database on their websites. It is a great opportunity for retailers to get manufacturer website referrals. More importantly, the consumer is being directed to a retailer who knows our brands and buys from our distributors.
How can consumers know what products are available and what the latest trends are?
TN: A great way to connect is to follow CAN’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For consumers and retailers, the AutoParts-Connection.com Facebook page [@autopartsconnect] is dedicated to sharing exciting new products and breaking member news.